SEATTLE – Poor diet is responsible for more deaths globally than tobacco, high blood pressure, or any other health risk, according to a new scientific study.

Consuming low amounts of healthy foods, such as whole grains, and too much unhealthy foods, including sweetened beverages, account for one in every five deaths globally.

“Poor diet is an equal opportunity killer,” said Dr. Ashkan Afshin, lead author on the study and an assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “We are what we eat and risks affect people across a range of demographics, including age, gender, and economic status.”

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